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I’ve had a few people contact me this year regarding their slow progress in January and there are a few common denominators that I thought I’d share with you:
1. People simply don’t eat enough food in January!
This is a side, NOT a main!
Everyone skips breakfast or eats a childlike portion of cereal in the morning with their coffee. Then they hit the salad boxes from Pret & M&S at lunch before getting home to another plate of rabbit food. As soon as folk wake up on New Years Day, they drastically cut calories and if the weight doesn’t fall off, they cut some more! The body fights back though, adjusts hormone levels & shuts down the metabolism. The fat stores remain, the body will win this battle over the brain time and time again. In addition to the calorie cut, the most important macronutrient to support metabolism, Protein, is the worst hit. Higher Protein diets aid the retention of muscle which is effectively metabolism which in turn leads to quality weight loss i.e Fat. Any time you are losing muscle on a diet is a bad day, even worse if you’re over 40! If you drop 2 kg of muscle in a week, your ability to reduce Fat in the following week is dramatically reduced and you are in a worse position than when you started the diet!
Solution: Incorporate the correct Protein levels for your lean mass and combine it with a balance of good carbs and fats!
2. You don’t have enough lean mass!
The Neglect image is achieved by losing muscle mass through a lack of exercise & starvation diets over time.
The Diet image is a body that is travelling the path towards The Neglect image, staying slim via calorie control and depleting muscle mass.
The Diet & Exercise image is Magic Time and is only achieved by combining a quality eating regimen with resistance exercise!
As we push past 40, we are usually losing our metabolism already and this leads most former experts to claim that age is the reason that we are becoming fatter and not losing weight. That is pie in the sky and NOT true! The metabolism slows because our changed lifestyle and behaviour as we age! We reduce activity or do the wrong types of activity that leads to a drop in our lean muscle that in turn leads to our reduced metabolism and a more puffy appearance. Now our infatuation with what the scale says leads us to eat less, increasing our nose dive to physical oblivion at a great rate of knots!
If you focus on the scale, you’re doomed! You need to incorporate resistance training and that can be achieved with bodyweight exercise or the use of weights. Generally when people lift weight, they have a slight weight increase but this IS A GOOD THING! Muscle assists Fat loss greatly! Couple this with the correct amounts of Protein, Carbs & Fat in the diet and you’re onto a serious winner, this is magic time!
3. You have inadequate sleep levels!
In todays age, this is bordering upon an epidemic. How many of you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep? Not many people I know! The drawbacks are: Disruption to Hormonal balance, Metabolism shut off and on top of that you’re likely to overeat, make poor meal choices, underperform in workouts if you don’t skip them altogether. It’s a proven stat that those lacking sleep have more fat & less muscle. Drawbacks of poor sleep patterns are listed in the image, add to that Increased Caffeine intake = Dehydration = Limited Fat loss. Reduced sex drive. Daily lethargy.
Set your bed time according to your alarm call and unwind from screens, emails, social media at least an hour before that, let your mind unwind.
Now imagine your body is a toilet that gets used all day but never takes in any fresh water! Not a pleasant thought!
I’ve touched on this recently, a dehydrated body is much less efficient at burning Fat and it will also mistake thirst for hunger!
1 pint of water per 15kg of bodyweight daily.
5. Poor Planning:
Many people go into a Fat loss program merely hoping to lose Fat. Losing Fat is not hard at all, ok it isn’t easy if you’re making mistakes but when you get the diet balanced you’re halfway there but when you match the diet perfectly with the exercise, the magic happens! Plan tomorrows food today, don’t leave anything to chance! Carb & Protein meals either side of the workout, zero carbs at breakfast or dinner, its that easy. If Protein intake is tough to hit, use a Whey powder. And book your workouts in and… Make them! Literally diarise your week, it will help to highlight where you may be going wrong! Ok I said losing Fat is easy, I think I’ve successfully proved that over the years with many of you and personally I’ve maintained my weight consistently over the last 20 years but I appreciate it can be a challenge as it takes a fair amount of effort. Challenging though is much better than Frustrating and intending to lose Fat but not making it happen is extremely draining! No one wants to be on a diet forever, so don’t be, make lifestyle changes… And stick to them!
We’re almost through January now, so if you have been focussing on losing Fat through January and have been working productively on a successful plan, in a few days time you should be checking your progress to find that you are now between 8-14lbs down in body fat. Remember with the added muscle tone from a training plan you won’t see that full loss on the scales so focus on calliper tests, body measurements and photographs! If you have seen those successful losses, it isn’t time to give up now! Take those losses forward into February and make them a complete lifestyle change!
Ok so we’ve once again hit that time when everyone digs out their gym kit and sets off on their “New me” January fitness crusade but how long will everyone last this year? I mean let’s be honest here, is your resolution the same as it was last year? Or are you a stage ahead from where you were last year? People dive in to all sorts of gym classes, start their exercise at inappropriate levels of intensity and literally do one of two things with their food intake: 1. Either cut calories to a starvation level or 2. Unbalance their diet by eradicating the devils that they believe to be Carbs & Fat!
Most of us have been here before, we start with intent and yet by mid to late January, we’re back to where we started if we’re lucky or more commonly we’re in an even worse position. We become deflated by a lack of progress, Injured by poor training programs or ill due to incorrect body fuelling. So how do you counteract this so that you actually begin to see progression and keep moving forward throughout the year? Below is a blueprint for your 2019 New You!
1. Don’t dive in! Be honest, set yourself a clear target. If it’s to lose fat get an accurate calculation of how much you want/need to lose and have an appropriate fitness & food plan devised by a specialist. If it’s to get fitter, undergo a fitness test so you know where you are starting from. If it’s to drop a dress size take a photo of yourself in your dress to see how it fits right now, you then have something to refer back to yourself. If it’s golf related don’t set out with a “Get fit for golf” mindset, break it down to an area of focus, such as: Mobility, Flexibility, Core, Strength or Power and get a screening and target your weakness or limitation with a T.P.I specialist.
2. Track your own progression. For Fat Loss forget about your scales, use body fat testing and measurements. For Fitness, repeat your initial fitness test and for dress sizing, take the same photo in the same dress. For Golf, simply re-screen. The take home message here is to chart your progress, it helps with motivation and flags up training plateaus early.
3. Whether your effort is channelled into your training plan, your diet or P.T sessions, work with qualified people with proven track records in assisting people to reach their fitness goals. Be clear from the outset in what you are looking to achieve and ensure that your progress is charted at regular intervals. Then seek the guidance from the professionals that you enlist for help to guide you along the way, it’s not the one hour a day that you spend in the gym that will make or break your goals, you will have to buy into the correct procedures to follow daily in order to attain your goal, certainly within the realms of Fat Loss, you will never out exercise a poor diet.
Of course you should be looking to gain results as quickly as possible but it doesn’t always come as quickly as you’d like, depending on what your goal is. I once worked with an individual who wanted to lose 50kg, now he was doomed to failure if he’d have wanted to do that in January and so we broke it down into 5kg targets, come February he was over 5kg into his target. It took Brad 12 months to shift that weight but he did it!
There were 2 ways to look at things in February for Brad: 1. Damn it another 45kg to lose, forget it! Or 2. Cool that’s 5kg gone, onto the next 5! Sure Brad had a few blips along the way but the key is, If you do fall off the wagon, (And many of us do at some point), then get straight back on the next day rather than letting that fall crush you into submission.
So with your fitness targets whatever they may be, use the 21/90 formula, really 12 weeks will give you a much better chance of success and do wonders for your health at the same time. It will be so much more productive than the standard January health kick! Form your new habits in the first 3 weeks of January and then let them redefine you up to the end of March. At this point, if you still have the selfie that you took of yourself in January as per point 2 in this article, now is a good time to refer back to it and see if you’d like to trade the New you for the Old you! If you’ve followed this blueprint, then I doubt you will!
Whatever you decide your target for January is, don’t fall for all the shortcuts that you see pumped around this industry:
1. The Fad diets 2. The Miracle pills 3. The latest fitness craze
Because if there is one thing that I can guarantee, there are:
And this is where most of my work is done now, I built my own fitness studio last year and kitted it out with everything that I need to help my clients to smash through their goals. Fat-loss, Toning, Strength, Power, Speed, Tennis, Golf, Boxing, Injury Rehab & Athletic Development in Juniors. If any of require extra help then please get in touch. Happy New Year. MW
Just click on the question mark if the image doesn’t appear.
I’ve worked with many people who have come to me via the Physio & the doctor in the last 12 months with differing levels of back pain. There seems to be a constant diagnosis of weak core, weak glutes & tight hamstrings! Ok, so as far as some of that may be relevant, the most commonly overlooked factor is tight hip flexors.
From my work as a T.P.I Golf Fitness Pro, I have learn’t that with any injury, you must first diagnose whether it is Joint mobility dysfunction or Tissue extensibility dysfunction and once you have done that, you can set about trying to heal yourself.
If your injury is skeletal, i.e a joint issue then of course you will need to seek assistance via the Medical Team, Doctors, Physios & Chiropractors etc However if the condition is a Tissue issue then a good PT should be able to take the shackles off.
Unlocking the Hips:
As you can see in the image, there are a lot of area’s where pain caused by hip issues can manifest itself, in time, leading to severe referred back pain. I’d have to say that 9/10 people that I have dealt with have not had hip joint issues but tissue issues around the joint, that prevents the hips range of motion. I have found that the key to good hip health is a combination of foam rolling combined with mobility & flexibility exercises. The hip is a ball & socket joint and it is has multi directional planes of movement and therefore should be trained in that way. Leg swings across 3 planes (Front to back, Left to Right and diagonal) are fantastic mobility exercises for the hip, moving the hip in a circular motion also. Multi directional lunges are preferred to same plane weighted lunges and an overhead lunge will help to break down the fascia in the front hip & quad area. Internal & External rotation of the hip is of a massive importance to Golfers as they turn in & out of each hip simultaneously during their Golf swing and exercises focussing on that motion are vital. The hip flexor, or Iliopsoas is the only muscle that links the upper body to the lower body and the welfare of this muscle is a major player in allieviating back pain. If this muscle is weak or tight, the motion of the hips can be compromised thus affecting the knees and/or the back. Oftentimes people mistake a lack of mobility in the hip as a strength issue, it is massively important to point out that strength is reduced with a lack of mobility in the joint so focus more on mobility first rather than strength! The hip flexor can become shortened with increased periods of sitting or driving etc so it is wise to stretch & mobilise following these periods. Certainly if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day and then head off to the gym for a stint on the bike or treadmill or a squat session, you’re going to feel that the next day!
Releasing the Hams & Strengthening the Glutes:
Ok so another problem with sitting a lot is the shortened position that you take the hamstrings into and whenever the hamstrings become tight the poor old back often gets lumbered with the pain. Stretching the hamstrings is easy enough to do with a resistance band as shown below:
The Glutes can also be stretched off to ease tension with pigeon stretch:
The glutes can often lose strength and exercises to assist their performance such as Bridges 1 & 2 leg, Hip Presses & single leg deadlifts will really hit the spot. The Glutes are the largest muscle in the body and when they are strong they massively assist the body’s performance both in Sport and daily activity.
Loosening the Erector Spinae & strengthening the core:
For loosening the back I prefer to see the use of rollers, this helps the individual to locate the area’s of tension for themselves and teaches them how to deal with it. However lengthening the spine is also worthwhile with total body extensions either standing or prone. Curving and arching the spine is a worthwhile daily movement as are rotary motions and sidebends. These are all motions that the spine should undertake when mobile and if you struggle with these movements 9/10 times it will be because of the restrictions that tight, matted down muscles are placing on the spine rather than the spine itself. Obviously another reason why the back may be overloaded could be due to a weak or disengaging core, again this is simple enough to work on once muscular tension has been released with the use of core exercises that keep the spine in extension such as mountain climbers. Although this seems to be a simple motion, full concentration is required to engage the core rather than to simply pump the legs forward with a rounded back. You can progress to doing this in plank on a stability ball. Crunches need not be frowned upon as a poor selection of core exercise, they just need to be performed correctly.
Remember, the easiest way to deal with back pain is with the correct diagnosis, once you’ve discovered whether you have a tissue or joint issue you can set about a healing pathway, if its joint then bring in the medics, if not set to work on regaining mobility with a few simple 30 minutes of mobility, flexibility & strength exercises.
For any assistance with aggravating or persistent injuries, get in touch, I’ll be happy to help.
If you have been avoiding Potatoes because you think they’re fattening then you can stop right now. If you’ve been told that they’re empty calories, then you’ve been lied to. So, are they bad for you or are they an quality food? A food that has been vilified as a devil Carb for years?
In the last 20 years or so Potatoes have received a growing bad press as a contributor to the obesity crisis that we are now in the midst of as well as the associated health complications that go with it. A conclusion has been drawn that Potatoes are empty calories and therefore over that period, Potato consumption has declined. With hindsight we can now see that Potatoes were not to blame for our rapidly altering average human physique.
Lets get to some facts, first off, how can a Potato be empty calories? If they were then they’d provide ZERO nutrients. In fact that statement could not be further from the truth!
Potatoes ARE rich in Carbohydrate and Carbs ARE a vital nutrient group that should be included in our diet! They also provide a concentrated source of Vitamin C, Dietary Fibre and Potassium. Incidentally all of which are nutrients which are nutrients of concern in todays obesity crisis. Fibre is lacking massively in the Western diet, a massive shame as it is a 5 Star nutrient that has a positive effect on the bodies blood sugar management levels, Heart health, Body composition & better digestion. Potatoes are high in soluble fibre which lowers cholesterol and is associated with leaner stomachs.
A Potato contains up to 3 times as much Potassium as a Banana and Potassium contributes to Heart , Bone and Kidney health. They even contain good amounts of Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc & Vitamin B6.
That demonised Potato also contains Resistant Starch which can: Increase Metabolic Rate, Reduce Insulin response to a meal, Improve Insulin Sensitivity, Reduce hunger, Increase Fat Burning & Decrease Fat Storage, Preserve Muscle Mass & Promote Weight-loss. It also acts as a pre-biotic fibre & thats a good thing! (Cooking can reduce the resistant starch level but that raises once they have cooled down).
Potatoes contain less than 1 calorie per gram although if you can only eat them as French Fries that calorific value increases dramatically. Of course boiled potatoes or a plain jacket will provide you with some decent calories however stuffing the jacket with Cheese, Beans, Sour Cream etc rockets that but in truth, the humble potato is not to blame!
So to sum up, Sugar is an empty calorie, Potato isn’t! Scientists now claim that the Potato is a forgotten source of nutrients and the potato is a fine source of Fibre &Potassium.
Eat them as a Carb component to your meal but eat them clean rather than ladled with excess calories!
Ok lets face it if you’ve had “Plank 3×60″ written on your program for a month or more you need to ask why. There are many ways to jazz up a plank or a side plank with a few simple additions but there is an even better way to hit the obliques whilst working the Glutes, Shoulders & Triceps at the same time, The Kettlebell Snatch. Planks are limited anyway, where do you take them? 5 minutes? 10?
I like to see the Kettlebell Snatch implemented with clients of all ages and abilities, its great for power development in athletes (Golf & Tennis particularly) and general strengthening & core development in others. It’s also a massive calorie burner due to the muscles recruited & effort required. As with every exercise it’s form first so start with a comfortable weight, once you have that down, play around with your rep range whilst staying within yourself with weight, 6 reps with a heavier load and up to 15 reps if you want to work on reducing Fat but with a lower load. If you’re a Golf or Tennis Athlete working on Power this exercise needs to challenge your strength capability and be done at speed. If you have existing shoulder conditions I recommend The Pull Apart Shoulder series and Trigger Pointing to solve those issues first.
To get fitter for the February Snow slopes, Hit the Golf ball further, Condition for Tennis or Torch Fat at as Fast a rate as is humanly possible… Email, Call or Text me! MW
Happy Christmas Everyone,
I don’t want to be a party pooper buy in under 2 weeks time, the whole community will be back on the Fat Loss trail, Alcohol & Sugar intake will be a thing of the past. So, PREPARE EARLY!
I have switched my Whey & Amino supplier from PhD to MyProtein and they are offering a 25% discount with my code, they stock literally every flavour you can imagine, so the excuse of not liking the flavour next year will be out of the window and their delivery services are superb. Visit the link below:
And enter the promo code below to claim your 25% discount:
Coming in thick and fast between now and the New Year I will be sharing the secrets of Fat Loss transformation via my channel on Youtube, Titleist Golf Fitness Tips, Gym Workouts, Home Workouts, Recipes & much more. Subscribe at the link Below and reinvent yourself:
Some of this will also be available via Instagram & Twitter by following MWFitnessPro so follow on for more free info.
I’ll see many of you in the New Year, until then have a great Christmas. For specific help, drop me a line!
During the holiday period our fitness quests can derail, its the season of poor food choices and increased alcohol levels.
Now before your holiday descends into a period of mass fat gains, I’d like to give you all a quick tip on how to reset the balance.
Keep Up your WATER intake! This is the most effective way to assist your body to remain hydrated and better burn FAT!
Poor HYDRATION is most definitely high up there in terms of simple Fat Loss fails, Good hydration assists the body’s ability to torch FAT, as well as physical & mental performance.
The Benefits of Good Hydration:
1 Metabolic Boost putting the body in a better state to burn Fat.
2 Appetite suppression, many people mistake thirst for hunger.
3 Prevention of constipation & Kidney stones.
4 Prevention of Headaches & Migraines.
5 Improved energy levels.
Better hydration equals a leaner appearance in a matter of a few days.
The question is, How much should you drink?
A good guide is 1 oz per kg of body weight, for example I weigh 96kg so 96 oz a day, 96 oz = 1 pint, therefore I drink 6 pints per day just to function, if I exercise, its more!
Split through the day, that is one and a half pints in the morning and an hour before bed, the remaining 3 are consumed throughout the day.
STAY hydrated and offset The Christmas Fat gain!
During summer months dehydration can have a dramatic effect on sporting performance, so all my golfing friends take note!
For more information of your fitness & training performance, sustained Fat Loss & nutritional guides, drop me a line.
Following a recent assessment, I have now moved to TPI Fitness Pro Level 2. In Level 1 I took some of you through Stability & Mobility screens and now I’m on hand to take you through Strength & Power Matrix screens as well as a 4×4 exercise sequencing to work from your current level up. Power is where most club Golfers are losing numbers and that starts with Strength training before introducing Speed work. The Strength Test consists of 4 Tests, Push, Pull, Lower Body & Grip. The Power Test consists of 4 Tests also, Vertical, Chest Pass, Chop & Rotary. There is even an aerobic Test to undergo! One thing is for sure, Golf is now an Athletes game, so don’t let your game go to pot! In the couple of seconds that you swing a Golf club you’re asking your body to rotate to extremes that it rarely ever does. You require a tremendous amount of strength to maintain stability as you try to crush that ball and lets be honest, none of us are trying to push it to the fairway are we. Contact me to book your screening today and set to work over winter to raise those Strength & Power numbers!
Following a morning session with one of my clients this week and hearing of his intense migraines, digestive issues and energy slumps I thought I’d send out a few general tips.
Firstly, it is important to point out that YOU are all in charge of a very technical & intelligent piece of apparatus, your body! And even with age, it still wants to regulate and move itself just as it did when you were aged 20 BUT that depends upon how YOU treat it! How you may have treated it over the last 5 years may have taken its toll but being the smart piece of kit that it is, if you follow these 12 Common Sense tips that most of us are aware of, then within a matter of weeks, I guarantee that you will already be feeling a whole lot better, give them a try.
1. Sleep: Often overlooked by many, we live in a world that places us under much stress and too often we take that stress to bed causing disturbed and unsettled sleeping patterns. Everyone feels that they function on a certain amount, I’d recommend 7-8 hours sleep and in the hour preceding bed omit the use of electronic screens and do something relaxing instead.
2. Water: I often hear the phrase, “I drink plenty of water.” However when the facts are discussed, many people have no idea how much water they drink or how much they actually should. As a guide, I weigh 95kg therefore I aim to drink 95fl/oz Water a day, thats roughly 5 pints of Water. When I wake up I drink 1 Pint to off set overnight dehydration, I drink 3 pints throughout the day and then another pint before bed.
3. Protein & Fat based Breakfast: I hope that by now, many of us realise that cereal is one of the worst breakfasts that we can eat? It spikes blood sugar and sets us up for a midmorning energy crash. A Protein & Fat based breakfast will better set you up for the day and also assist the body in handling Carbs for the rest of the day. Eggs are a great breakfast ingredient and your choice of cooking them is endless. They provide great Cholesterol & Protein.
4. Animal Protein, Carbs & Healthy Fat based diet:Most of you will now know my beliefs and the secret to sustained Fat Loss. Its a healthy diet. The ratio of Carbs, Fats & Protein can all be altered to provide differing physical responses but whatever your physical target and for general health, they all need to be present. My Carbs come from Fruit, Veg, Pulses, Potato, Bread & Rice etc. My Protein comes in the form of Organic Meat, Chicken & Fish and Fats from Nuts, Oils, Avocado, Olives & Cheese. Protein should be ingested at every meal, along with either Fats or Carbs.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar: Is a great tonic that I use in Green Tea. It has great health healing compounds that support Fat Loss. It can work as a natural probiotic also assisting in stomach acid control. Just a few drops in an expresso sized Green Tea.
6. Exercise: As much as I understand it when people say that they have had a busy day and that they were too tired to exercise, I also KNOW that if they’d just push through for 45-60 minutes a day, they would feel SO much better. Exercise breeds energy, it reinvigorates the body by pumping oxygenated blood around the body. The mind is often the tired party and with it you convince the body not to exercise. The body WANTS to exercise, it was designed to do so and when it does, the MIND feels so much BETTER! Can you see the revolving pattern?
7. Supplementation: A tough area to get across to people as there are many misconceptions about supplements. Firstly, lets get it straight, they are supplements, not a staple diet, they are designed to fit into a balanced dietary plan, NOT replace it. The list is endless but if you stick to the following as a base guide, you won’t go far wrong. And were always talking high quality, you pay for what you get!
Multi Vitamin, Vitamin D, Fish Oil, Amino Acids, L-Glutamine, Whey Protein.
8. Sugar: I think its the biggest detriment to health thats out there. We’re not talking about 2 sugars in our coffee anymore, its all the hidden sugar that foods now contain. I deal with so many people still blinded by the 80′s low fat epidemic where we were told to trim the fat from our meat, eat 1 egg a day etc etc, IT’s dated. It was never the fat that was making us Fat, The Low Fat phase that introduced hidden carbs and sugars was brought Obesity & Diabetes to record highs. Look out for it. Eat whole foods and you won’t have to worry about sugar anymore.
9. Processed Food: All the hidden sugar you’d ever want to eat is here. Tinned foods, Frozen foods, Packaged foods, Pastries, Junk Food, Sweets. Stay away from it.
10. Regular Fuelling: If we say that the longest period without eating should be when we sleep, 7-8 hours, how many of us go longer than that when we’re awake? So many people out there are starving themselves! I eat 5 meals a day. So does everyone who I help to shift Kg’s of weight from their bodies! On a gym day I’d go as follows:
6am Protein & Fat, 10am Protein & Carbs, 1pm Protein & Carbs, 4pm Protein & Carbs, 7pm Protein & Fat. I’d have a couple of coffee’s in there, 5 pints of water and some supplements.
Many people I deal with are more like this:
6am Nothing, 9am Cereal, 1pm Sandwich, 4pm Nothing, 8pm Salad
Bearing in mind I am not trying to gain or lose weight presently, draw the comparison on the 2 food intakes. One is well fuelled whilst the other is blatant starvation and your body will only run on that for a limited time before it breaks and gets ill. As we get older its more important to maintain strength rather than give it away freely!
11. Alcohol: A glass of wine isn’t going to kill anyone unless you’re really trying to shed the remaining last few pounds of Fat but understand the effect of alcohol. If you’re already dehydrated from too much caffeine or not enough water or both, then the alcohol is only going to add to that. Limit it for a couple of weeks, see how better your sleep & energy levels are.
12. Caffeine: Same as alcohol really, its not killing you unless you’re drinking Starbucks super sweetened varieties etc but it will dehydrate you more if you’re already dehydrated so be sensible. Try your morning coffee just after breakfast with a good coconut oil instead of sugar!
Give it a try for a couple of weeks, you’ll feel much better!